Monday, December 29, 2008

Manic Monday and a book review

Manic Monday #148

What is the biggest mistake you made in 2008 and will not make again in 2009?

Trusting certain people. I must be one of the most naive and gullible people walking the earth. But no more. My heart is hardened and I will not bend!

Do you make New Year's resolutions?

I use to but not going to do it this year.

Why or why not?

What's the point? I never follow through with them!!

Who do you nominate as “Man or Woman of the Year” for 2008?
Big Mistake
What was your greatest accomplishment in 2008?

Losing some weight and starting to put my health and well-being on the front burner instead of the back burner. I'm no good to anyone if I'm falling apart.

I had to get up pretty early this morning...4:00 a.m.! In order to take my oldest son to the Amtrak station. So when I got back home I sat down with a hot cup of coffee and finished Sweet Life. Here is my goofy review!! (I wished that I sounded more scholarly but oh well)

Sweet Life by Mia King
From the back cover: When her husband, Paul, gets a new job, Marissa Price leaves the island of Manhattan for the island of Hawaii. Paradise seems like the perfect place to find herself, save her marriage, and reconnect with her eight-year-old daughter. But once there, Marissa discovers her new life is less about beaches and beautiful sunsets and more about cows and lava flows. Their new "home" is a fixer-upper at best. But what most needs fixing-her marriage- is the first to crumble when her husband announces he wants some time apart to find himself.

rating: didn't like itit was okliked itreally liked it (my current rating)it was amazing
bookshelves: read, winter-reading-challenge-2009 (edit)
status: Read in December, 2008
review: This book is absolutely sweet! I really liked the author's first book Good Things and was not at all disappointed with her follow-up. Set in New York and then Hawaii, this book flowed very well and was a very enjoyable, easy read. At first I have to admit that I wasn't too crazy about the main character Marissa. I found her to be a very picky, hard-to-please, label crazy, self-centered brat. But after her family lands in Hawaii and things start to fall apart her character took on a little more dimension. The cast of supporting characters were very believable and I was absolutely pulled into the main island of Hawaii. The recipes in the back sound delicious but I'm not that ambitious so I settled for just reading them and dreaming of actually visiting Hawaii in order to sample some of these dishes.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2009 Pub Challenge- Sign up People!!!

2009 Pub Challenge hosted by
I hope you’ll consider joining the 2009 Pub as well. For those who didn’t participate last year but want to read more 2009 releases, join us. New members are always welcome! The challenge lasts for all of 2009.

Here are the 2009 rules:

  1. Read a minimum of 9 books first published in 2009. You don’t have to buy these. Library books, unabridged audios, or ARCs are all acceptable. To qualify as being first published in 2009, it must be the first time that the book is published in your own country. For example, if a book was published in Australia, England, or Canada in 2008, and then published in the USA in 2009, it counts (if you live in the USA). Newly published trade paperbacks and mass market paperbacks do not count if there has been a hardcover/trade published before 2009. Any questions on what qualifies? Just leave a comment here, and I’ll respond with the answer.
  2. No children’s/YA titles allowed, since we’re at the ‘pub.’
  3. At least 5 titles must be fiction.
  4. Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  5. You can add your titles as you go, and they may be changed at any time.
I've decided that I'm going to add my titles as I go because I'm just not up on books that are going to be published in 2009.

Book 1 is going to be this one, Shelter Me by Juliette Fay

Book Overview:

Four months after her husband's death, Janie LaMarche remains undone by grief and anger. Her mourning is disrupted, however, by the unexpected arrival of a builder with a contract to add a porch onto her house. Stunned, Janie realizes the porch was meant to be a surprise from her husband—now his last gift to her.

As she reluctantly allows construction to begin, Janie clings to the familiar outposts of her sorrow—mothering her two small children with fierce protectiveness, avoiding friends and family, and stewing in a rage she can't release. Yet Janie's self-imposed isolation is breached by a cast of unlikely interventionists: her chattering, ipecac-toting aunt; her bossy, over-manicured neighbor; her muffin-bearing cousin; and even Tug, the contractor with a private grief all his own.

As the porch takes shape, Janie discovers that the unknowable terrain of the future is best navigated with the help of others—even those we least expect to call on, much less learn to love.

Sounds good and I'm all signed up for it at my local library!! I'm #1.....Yippee!!!

It is a blustery day in the thumb...

The wind here has not stopped blowing since yesterday afternoon. The best part of all this strange weather that we've been having here in Michigan is that all 16 inches of snow is now gone! The bad part is that is has caused flooding in some areas and that is not good!! Yesterday the temp. got up to almost 60!!! We were loving the balmy temps but that has changed drastically today. That is the best part about living in Michigan, wait an hour and the weather will change. Whether you like it or not!! Most of the time I don't like it!!

Anyway, I'm just sitting here looking at blogs, watching a House Marathon with my hubby, and reading my book. I stumbled across a cool book challenge that I want to participate in, so I have to post the list of my books that I'm going to read.

The Winter Reading Challenge runs from December 21st, 2008 through March 20, 2009. There are 13 weeks in Winter and I will probably end up reading one to two books per week. Some of the books may cross over into challenges that begin 2009.

The rules are very flexible:

1) Choose any number of books you would like to read and post them on your blog.
Here are my selections:
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Sweet Life by Mia King

2) They can be fiction and/or nonfiction including e-books and audiobooks

3) They can overlap with other challenges.

I'm excited about this challenge and I'm certainly going to be overlapping other challenges!! Winter reading is the best! Nothing to feel guilty about...let the games begin!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Crazy Sam's Last Meme of 2008

1. What was the best thing that happened to you personally in 2008?

All my tests came back negative for a lot of different problems that are in my family tree!! Stress is the reason why I've been feeling so crappy.

2. What was the worst thing that happened to you personally in 2008?

My health going downhill due to my inability to control the stress in my life!! Also finding out that the hearing loss in my right ear is permanent!!

3. What was the best thing to happen to all of us in 2008?

Barack Obama!! I'm excited. Can't wait to see if things will be run differently and how our children's future will be impacted by his policies. One that I would like to see changed is the No Child Left Behind....working in a school I can see first-hand the negative impact it has had on our teachers, administrators, and most importantly our children!!

4. What was the worst thing to happen to all of us in 2008?

Wall Street greed, 700 billion money to AIG and all those creeps!! How about giving the average American the money? We would've paid off our debts, houses, cars, and hell, we might have even started buying things!! Go figure...

5. What was the best gift you received during the ’08 holidays?

One of my friends gave me a really pretty sweater. She's a sweetheart!

6. What was the best gift (most appropriate or best received) you gave during the ’08 holidays?

I surprised my hubby and got him a BeadRider seat for his BMW motorcycle!! Now he can ride for hours and not suffer from monkeybutt!!

7. Do you have any regrets about what you did in 2008?

Too many and too personal to list here!!

8. Do you have any regrets about what you didn’t do in 2008?

I wanted to really clean out my house and try to simplify. Be more organized at home. I didn't exercise like I wanted to.

9. Did you meet anyone that became important to you in 2008?

I didn't meet anyone face to face but since I've been more serious about blogging I've gotten to know a lot of different people and enjoy reading what they do in their lives.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Fill-In and a book review

#104-Friday Fill-In

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and happy holidays to all! Questions this week are courtesy of Heather from It's All About The Hat! Thanks, Heather :-)

1. I must _step foot in Italy____ before I die.

2. You can't stop __time___.

3. I wish I never had to buy __maxipads!!!!!!!!___ again.

4. _A friend___ has helped me change my life.

5. I know the song __Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer___ by heart.

6. If I weren't so afraid, I would ___jump out of a plane someday__.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __eating a slice of pumpkin pie___, tomorrow my plans include _getting some gifts for our niece and nephew in Florida____ and Sunday, I want to _organize my craft room____!

The Watcher by Jeanne Stein Book 3 Anna Strong Series
rating: didn't like itit was ok (my current rating)liked itreally liked itit was amazing
bookshelves: read, series (edit)
status: Read in December, 2008

review: This one had me struggling!! I was so mad that I decided to put off the next book in the series....for now. I really liked Anna's character until this book. She just seems like one big brat who thinks she knows everything. And frankly, it turned me off! The premise of the story was poorly constructed and it just did not keep my attention. So, I have to give it the lower rating and move on to something better!!

I went to the library today and picked up a couple of new books to add to my HUGE pile!! I did return quite a few books that I decided that I just didn't want to make time to read. After going through other blogs and signing up for some reading challenges for 2009, I decided that I want to be a little more discerning when it comes to books. There are some classics that I really want to read, over a hundred of my own books that are just gathering dust, and I feel that if I don't get serious I might be missing out on some really profound reading!! That is another thing that I want to work on this coming year. Becoming a better reader. I need to be more intuitive and look for a deeper meaning. I tend to just read and not really ponder a whole lot. I read other people's reviews and question myself..."Why didn't I get that?" So that is something that I truly want to work on. One of the big books that I'm tackling this year is Anna Karenina. Trust me I've got the Cliff Notes bookmarked. Plus I kept everything from Oprah's website from when she read the book a few years ago. Wish me luck!! I'm also going to read for the first time, The Lord of The Rings Trilogy!! And just for some additional fun....Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abby. I must read them in 2009!!!!! Well, I've rambled on long enough so I will sign off for now and go catch up on some blogs!!

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wintery Books- Booking Through Thursday

Wintery Books
What I want to know today is … what are the most “wintery” books you can think of? The ones that almost embody Winter?

For me it is and will always be...The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I absolutely love this book. It reflects the hardships of the time and how you were at the absolute mercy of the weather. We complain about the snow (me especially) but we really have no idea what it is to be held captive by snow!! Could you imagine not being able to go anywhere for months!! To not get food brought in by the trains, to have nothing to eat but potatoes for weeks at a time, to have no real heat because you used up all of the wood and now you have to twist straw really tight to make it burn longer? Maybe I need to read it right now? It would help put everything into perspective for me and I might stop posting about how much Michigan weather sucks!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve morning

I always get up with my hubby when he has to work days. I like going out and starting his truck for him so that it is all nice and warm for his drive. The temp outside this morning is a balmy 33 degrees!! We had a lot of wind yesterday with more snow so our driveway is drifted in.....again. But no big deal. Hubby bought a snow blower the other night so we can now plow ourselves out. After he left I made myself my morning brew and fired up the computer. I love having these early morning hours to myself. I look forward to the peace and quiet I have until approx. 11:30 a.m. That is when the TEENS decide to roll out of bed!! During the quiet time this morning I read this:

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

I give this book 5 stars out of 5 *****

This book belongs to my son Marc. He left this on the stairs and needless to say I picked it up and started reading it. Couldn't stop!! I loved Calvin and Hobbes when I was a teen. Marc has loved it since I can remember. No wonder....he is Calvin!!!! I laughed out loud so many times and that is because 20 years ago I read it and saw the world from Calvin's eyes. Now I'm reading it and sympathizing with Calvin's parents!!! Everyone needs a good dose of laughter. Read this, it won't disappoint!

My day will be a little busy. Here's what I have going on:

  • finish my coffee-completed 9:53 a.m.
  • watch the Today show for a little bit- completed 9:53 a.m.
  • take a shower- completed
  • wrap presents while teens are still sleeping-completed 9:53 am
  • check woodstove- still working on it-decided that it is too hot in house right now!!
  • read a few chapters of my latest book-now am on page75 4:13 p.m.
  • make some Chai Latte
  • do my onion/beef/cream cheese wraps-completed 1:32 p.m.
  • cut up wedges of cheese for cheese/olive/pickle tray-completed 1:32
  • read a few more chapters
  • throw ingredients for party meatballs in crock pot-completed 3:10 p.m.
  • shovel out the cat, she's locked in the barn...AGAIN-completed 9:53 am
  • get the mail-made my oldest get it!! ha ha!!- 3:10 p.m.
  • log on to computer...waste precious time that I could be reading-been doing this off/on all day
  • get everything together to have our little Christmas Eve appetizer party
  • clean up....probably by myself (will let you know later)
  • settle in for the night
So, it looks like I'm going to be pretty busy for a while. I better post this and then get cracking!!

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Great Book Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages blog!

Hey Everyone!!

Dar, at Peeking Between the Pages is offering up a great give away!! If you haven't read Tomato Girl yet, then you MUST enter her contest to try to win this fantastic book. See my review below:

Read in October 2008: Tomato Girl

O.K. I sat outside all afternoon and read this book. I couldn't stop!! But Jayne, I'm mad!! Oh, how could you make Ellie's world so horrible!!? There are so few good people in Ellie's life. You made me totally hate Rupert! I wanted to knock his lights out....and Tess...omg...I don't want to go there. No wonder Ellie's mom was CRAZY!! I heard Ellie in my head, her voice comes out strong and clear. You can't help but love this little kid. Great book Jayne!! Bravo!

So, please click on the link above and post a comment for Dar. If I win this book I'm giving it to someone sister-in-law!! Good Luck!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Manic Monday

Manic Monday #147

If you were at a friend’s house for a holiday dinner and you found a dead cockroach in your salad, what would you do?

I would very carefully and without attracting notice take the bug out of my salad and put it in my napkin. I then would make some excuse to my friend that I was saving room for the big meal and pretend like I was eating the rest of the salad.

If you could put anyone you know on Prozac, who would you choose?


How do you feel about public displays of affection?

Holding hands and kissing quickly like hello or goodbye , I don't have a problem with at all. It is when they get down and dirty that totally repulses me. I especially hate the whole "let me put my hand in your back pocket" and let's walk around the mall like that because we're so cool......NOT!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blustery day in the Thumb

Can I just tell you one more time how much I hate WINTER!!!! Good lord, the wind has not stopped since last night and we got another 2-3 inches of snow. I had big plans today. I wanted to get the last of my Christmas gifts purchased and all of my food for the holiday week and weekend. But there was no way that my Jeep was getting out of our driveway!! There must be 3 feet of snow against the barn doors. The poor cat, Pistol, is locked inside the barn! Don't worry Marcus has shoveled her out twice today and she has plenty of food. But he could shovel all day and the snow builds right back up within minutes. My hubby should be getting out of work soon and I'm worried if he will be able to get down our road!! Good ol' Michigan is broke, so that means our plow trucks don't run like these use to. I'm sure we won't get plowed out until late afternoon tomorrow!! It doesn't help our cause that the wind will still be blowing up to 25 mph and we're suppose to get another 2-4 inches!! Did I add that the wind chill is to get down to around -25 below??????

I'm sure these horses are wondering the same thing!! I am going to try to get out tomorrow and take photos off all this glorious white stuff but it really depends on if the wind is still wild and out-of-control!!

Today I accomplished a few things. I did all of the laundry, baked some chocolate chip muffins, drank a lot of coffee, kept that woodstove stoked and hot!!! And I also finished another book. Here is my lame review!!

Faefever (Book 3) by Karen Marie Moning
4 out of 5 stars ****

This book kicked some serious butt!! I don't remember how I stumbled across this series, I think it may have been on Goodreads. But whatever the case I absolutely love them. I truly can picture the main character Mac trying to stay alive in Dublin and trying to out-wit Barrons. But there are times that if I was Mac I would've just jumped that man!! Whew!! love the friction/chemistry between the two. The author also blends humor that is quite enjoyable and yet believeable in her story. Here is one of my favorite parts from the book:

Waiting outside for me was a thermos of coffee, a bag of doughnuts, a set of car keys, and a note. I unscrewed the thermos top, sipped the coffee, and unfolded the note.

Ms. Lane,
I would prefer you join me in Scotland this evening, but if you insist on helping the
old witch, here are keys, as you requested. I moved it for you. It's the red one, parked
in front of the door. Call if you change your mind.
I can send a plane as late as 4:00.


It took me a moment to figure out the initials. Constant Jackass. I smiled. "Apology accepted, Barrons, if it's the Ferrari."
It was.

If you enjoy series books, female lead characters, a little bit of fantasy, humor, and nice sprinkling of sex, then you just may enjoy this book!!

Well, I'm off to update my Goodreads and Scrapbook thread. Hope everyone stays warm tonight and many snowballs in your face to the ones that live in WARM climates!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday 9 and the snow has finally stopped!!

Saturday 9: Holiday Cheer

1. Does the holiday season stress you out? If yes, how do you cope? At times I let the holiday stress me out but its nothing that 3 or 4 beers, or a whole bottle of Boonesfarm can't handle!! :)

2. Are you ever so busy in December that you have to force yourself to chill? I work as a librarian in a middle school so I get 2 weeks off every December. That's when I chill!

3. Do you sleep well at this time of year? Not too bad.

4. Have you ever taken a sleigh ride? No, I haven't but I think it would be great fun!!
If yes, tell us about it.

5. Do you live close to the parts of your family you spend the holidays with? Nope, they all live more than 3 hours away.

6. What will you have for Christmas dinner? Spiral ham, homemade mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, onion wraps, pie, and lots of wine!

7. Do you diet after the holidays? No, I just try to go back to eating in moderation.

8. What’s the best part of the season for you? When it is over!!!!! Too much commercialism has really ruined it for me. Thank goodness I didn't see that when I was a kid!

9. How many generations of your family get together during the holidays? Well, a long time ago it use to be at least 3 generations, now it is just 2.

Update on the weather here in Michigan.
It finally stopped snowing here in the Thumb!! Yeah, come to find out we got about 1 foot!! And of course it didn't help that it was blowing big time last night!! And in case you read yesterday's post, we were able to get out of our driveway, down our dirt road to the blacktop and make it with plenty of time to spare to the airport!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fill-In and a winter storm!!!!

Fill in the lyrics...with the correct ones or ones of your own :-) Have fun with this, don't worry if you don't know 'em...just make up something silly or do a silly one and a serious one! The most important part is to have fun with it.

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, _do you hear what I hear?____.

2. The first Noel, the angel did say, __Staci, I'm ashamed that you don't know the next word!!!___.

3. __Riding in a sleigh___, Over the hills and everywhere.

4. It came upon the midnight clear, _a big snowstorm that dumped 8 inches here in the thumb!!____.

5. __Drink good beer___, Let your heart be light.

6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing _even if it is way off key!!____.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _reading a little____, tomorrow my plans include _going to Detroit metro____ and Sunday, I want to __relax for the first time in 6 months!___!

That was pretty fun, as you can see I really don't know very many Christmas carols. Now if the music was playing I might be able to come up with some of the right words!! So this morning my phone rang at 5:15 a.m. saying those 4 glorious words that we come to love here in the thumb....


I ran to the door to look out the window and saw nothing! Was this a prank? you know how sneaky superintendent's can be sometimes and this is a negotiation I went back to bed to settle in for a few more winks of sleep. Before I knew it the stupid phone rang AGAIN!! This time it was 6:00!! Same message!!! Our school has an automated message system. I've figured out that the first call was to all staff, the second call was to all parents!! Yikes, I must have that changed when I get back to school because 2 phones calls will certainly interfere with my ability to sleep-in. Needless to say I was up at 6 a.m. and stayed up. I couldn't believe how much snow had fallen in the 45 minutes since I had first looked out!! This storm just blew in and dumped tons of snow across the lower part of Michigan. And of course my dear hubby decided that he wanted to get his oil changed!! Yes, he is a little crazy! So we ventured out into the wild white day and it was scary!! The plows had not been anywhere and it was 12:30!! He didn't care, he's a man and he's not afraid of no snow!! So 4-wheel drive locked in, gas pedal fully pushed down, and we plowed through that flimsy white stuff!!! 4 hours later we arrived back at home all safe and sound. Not sure if we'll be able to get out in the morning because of the wind blowing andthe snow drifting. This has me freaking out just a little....a LOT!! I am a total worrier so I'm suffering extreme anxiety right now. I'm worried that we won't be able to make it from our house to the black top road. I'm worried that the truck will get stuck and we won't make it to Detroit Metro on time. I'm worried that we won't get there in time for the flight and we'll have to eat a $261 plane ticket!! I'm just plain worried. My husband...he's snoring right now...that's how worried he is!! So wish us luck tomorrow!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Do you give books as gifts?

Yes, I do. Especially to my nieces, nephew, and my boys. Kids get enough toys from "Santa" and everyone else so we like to give books.

To everyone? No, not to everyone.

Or only to select people? Like I said above, to the younger crew!!

How do you feel about receiving books as gifts?

I love getting books as gifts!!!

What is the best book you ever bought for yourself?

It was the 3rd book in the Outlander Series.

And, why? What made it the best? What made it so special?

I waited months for it to come out, used a Christmas gift card on it and then didn't read it for almost a year because at that time I thought this would be the last book. I didn't want my love affair with the characters to end. I'm weird!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Manic Monday #146

Have you ever returned an item to a store for a refund after having used it?

I plead the 5th on this one!!

You are going out for the evening. If your partner objects to what you are wearing, would you change your clothing?

Sure, if he helps me find something better and I'm o.k. with it.

What item that you don’t currently possess would you most like to have in your home?

My upper cabinets in the kitchen. We remodeled this summer but haven't done that part yet!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter sucks in Michigan

Can I reiterate enough how much I hate F*K&^$G Michigan in the winter time? Last night the wind was blowing so hard that Matt and I discovered new leaks in the house! Just great huh? Have I told you how much I hate old houses? Well, I do. So There! Needless to say it is cold and windy again today and I'm just getting fed up with keeping the damn woodstove going. Woodstoves are great for the wonderful heat they put out but they're a pain-in-the-ass to keep them stoked up and always going. Especially because I'm the one that seems to make sure to get up in the middle of the night to add a few pieces of wood. And I'm the one right now who is awake to realize that the f*&^ing thing is having a hard time getting it into gear!!! I'm cranky so please excuse the profanity. I also think I suffer from depression brought on by the lack of sun!! O.K. enough of the ranting....

I finished another book, it wasn't spectacular but it was a nice little trip down memory lane.

Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran by Andy Taylor
I give it 3 out of 5 stars ***

The writing was o.k. He really should've gotten some help with it but if he did it all on his own then I applaud his efforts. But he is not a writer!! I was really hoping that he would go into a LOT of detail about his life in DD but he seemed to gloss over stuff and repeat himself constantly. This I found very irritating! He also has the knack of making himself the savior in almost all of the situations he describes. I found that a little troublesome. I believe he snorted too much cocaine!! If you loved Duran Duran from the very beginning, like me, then I think you will enjoy this book. It has a lot of flaws but it was kind of nice to remember the good ol' days of The Cure, Spandau Ballet, INXS, Live Aid, and all the great music from the 80's.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday 9 and a fun day with Marc

Saturday 9: 'Tis the Season

1. Do you enjoy receiving or giving presents more?

I love giving presents, especially when I think I've picked out the "perfect" one!!

2. What is you favorite holiday film?

It's A Wonderful Life
I watch it every Christmas eve

3. Have you started or finished your gift shopping?

I've been shopping for a couple of weeks and am almost done!!

4. What does this time of year mean to you?

I wish that it still meant what it use to. Celebrating Baby Jesus' birthday, but it is a big commercial holiday!! We need to take it back from the retailers, scale back on our amount of gifts, and get back to the basics. Make kids really look forward to something special not just a HUGE amount of junk. Volunteer somewhere, give to your local charities, homemade gifts..that kind of stuff.

5. What is your favorite holiday song?

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (it's the only one I remember from beginning to end!)

6. What do you love about the holiday season?

The lights, the excitement, the good-will, and of course all the great food!!

7. What do you hate about the holiday season?

I answered that above in #4 plus I hate the mob of people and how shopping during this time brings out the rudeness in even the nicest Grandma!!

8. Do religious ceremonies play a part in your holiday traditions? If yes, how?

Not really

9. Who will you spend the holidays with?

My family: Matt, Mitch, and Marc.

So Marc and I decided to brave the crowds today and we ventured into town to do some shopping and to have lunch together. We ate first because I was starving! We decided on Red Lobster because for some weird reason Marc was wanting to eat there. We both had the shrimp scampi and lots of the cheese biscuits!! Yummy! We needed the fuel because the number of people out and about was mind-boggling. Now mind you, I was already in town early this morning doing some of the Christmas shopping for the kids. The crowds were not too terrible at that time. The only store that was packed was Bath & Body. I had a $10 coupon to use there but figured I would come back later to use it. So Marc and I put our body armor on and stormed the mall!! I dropped him off at Borders and I went to fight amongst the women for the sweet smelling lotions, bubble bath, and shower gels. Bath & Body was having a PHENOMENAL sale today and I'm all about the sales!! This was my Christmas present to myself and I walked away with a ton of goodies!! See below:

1 Warm Sugar Vanilla Bubble Bath $12.00
1 Warm Sugar Vanilla Body Lotion $10.50
1 Vanilla Noir Shower Gel FREE
1 Vanilla Noir Bubble Bath $12.00
1 Warm Amber Lotion FREE
1 Very soft, warm, and cozy Scarlett Robe 50% off I paid 19.75
1 Assorted gift pack of 5 lotions regular price 20.00 FREE

then of course I was able to apply my 10.00 off coupon to the total and I walked out of there paying only $46.91!!!!! The actual price for everything was $115.00!! I saved--$68.09 pretty impressive. I can't wait to show Matt what he got me for Christmas!!

I forgot that I finally bought myself a Twilight T-shirt!! I've got to be cool with the kids at school plus secretly, I really wanted one!! It says "Team Edward" on the back. I think I might buy the I run with Wolves one too because I can't make up my mind as to whose team I'm on!!
I ran into a couple of girls from school at Wal-mart and we're going to all wear our Twilight shirts on Friday. We're geeks and we like it that way!!

So from the mall we stopped at Hobby Lobby so I could get a snowman gift for my secret santa person. I just want everyone to know that I did not go anywhere near the scrapbooking stuff!! Aren't you proud of me? I am!! I've decided that a big purge is coming up in January!! I honestly can't wait to get rid of some of this "stuff." I haven't bought anything scrapbook related in months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ***loud applause inserted here**** After Hobby Lobby we made a quick run through Wal-Mart. When we went in the weather was just fine and when we came out we experience "Auntie Em!" wind and snow!!! Have I told you before how much I hate Michigan winters? Well I do!! They totally suck! All those old people that flock to Florida are smart and I want to be one of them. I could totally live it up down there right now. After Marc emptied the cart (he's a pretty considerate kid) we made our last and most important stop-----Barnes and Noble! We sat around, drank coffee (me only) and read for about 45 minutes then decided that we better head home.

Now I'm off to end this day with a hot, bubbly, wonderful smelling bubble bath, comfy p.j.'s and wrap up in my new soft robe that Matt, my wonderful husband, bought me for Christmas!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fill-In and another book review


1. Friends __have been my lifeline___.

2. ____Thankful for my good_ health; it's _very important to take care of myself____.

3. I'm ready for _Christmas vacation to start____.

4. ____Warm Vanilla Sugar_ is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells.

5. The oldest ornament I have is __15 years old, one that Mitchell did in daycare___.

6. Take _a big bucket of margarita mix and nachos___, mix it all together and you have _a freaking great night____.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _spending time with Matt____, tomorrow my plans include __going to the library, bank, and getting some Christmas presents purchased___ and Sunday, I want to _put up the tree____!

Book Review
Wow, I can't believe that I've read 103 books this year!! I hope to read over 150 books next year. If I can keep getting great books like the one I just finished then it shouldn't be too hard.

Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran
I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars! *****

I was instantly intrigued by this book when I found that each chapter began with a recipe. As I pored over the recipes I realized that I have been missing out on so much wonderful food out there in the world. I instantly wanted to try every single dish and experience the exotic spices. The story line is driven around 3 sisters who have escaped Iran during the revolution and fled to England. Once there they had to leave because their past caught up to them. (don't want to tell you more because it may spoil it) They finally end up in Ireland. A place that I dream about visiting one day. The author made the small town come alive with her very credible characters. I have not read the book Chocolat yet, but I was instantly reminded of this movie as I read this book. You have your town gossips, your town bully, your fun-loving Irish priest, and of course a love story. People are use to the usual Irish fare: stew, ale and lack-luster taste. Every one goes about their life with no fun, and absolutely nothing to look forward to, that is until the sisters arrive. The smells coming from the cafe start to entice people and once inside they can not resist the wonderful dishes and just sitting down for a cup of hot tea. This is the kind of place that I want to find. A place that I never knew existed until I turn a corner and from there the smell of the food draws me in. I absolutely loved this story. I've been told that the follow-up is a little disappointing but I am willing to take my chances.

Up next in my big pile of TBR is Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran by Andy Taylor

Can't wait to read all the dirt. I was a die-hard Duranie in my teen years and I am more than willing to admit that I still listen to their CD's and if John Taylor walked into the room right now I would throw myself at him!! but in a nice and controlled way.....uh, not really!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Booking Through Thursday and a weird observation

1. Do you get to read as much as you WANT to read?

Uh, no!! If I had the perfect life it would include a chef to cook, a maid to clean, someone to shop for me, and I would also need a robot to send in my place to work. Then maybe I could read as much as I want. But I have to admit that I do make a lot of time for myself to read. I plan my meals out ahead of time so that after 8 p.m. I can read. I also get up with my hubby on weekends when he has to work early so that I can take advantage of the early (quiet) hours. I love reading, drinking coffee with my dog beside me and knowing that I don't have to be anywhere!!

(I’m guessing #1 is an easy question for everyone?)

2. If you had (magically) more time to read–what would you read? Something educational? Classic? Comfort Reading? Escapism? Magazines?

I would probably read a little bit of everything. My moods change all the time. Sometimes I get into a jag where I'll only read YA, then it might be a particular series that I've fallen in love with and I won't be happy until I've read them all. Other times, I'm just too lazy to really focus and want to relax with a magazine. I do enjoy the occasional non-fiction book to educate myself about a topic that I know absolutely nothing about. As for the classics, there are some that I truly would like to get to before my time is up.

Now for the weird observation.

I just received my Jan 2009 Creating Keepsakes magazine and was flipping through it to rip out all of those annoying subscription cards and realized that there is not a single one in there!!!!!! What is up with that? Don't get me wrong, I love it but there is something weird in magazine land when one of the damn cards don't slip out of your magazine. You can always count on at least 9!! Maybe they finally realized that I'm tired of their same-old crap every month and I will NOT be renewing my subscription, so they decided to spare me all the agony!! Probably not. I decided that I'm done letting someone else tell me how to scrapbook. They just want to sell a product and of course, make money. These are my memories not theirs and I'm taking this hobby back and making it mine again!! I will not subscribe to another scrapbook magazine ever!! I'm going to spend my money on magazines about books!! Way better investment!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another cold and boring day....

Manic Monday #145

What is the most expensive meal you've ever eaten?

It was when I was an exchange student in Japan. We had dinner at a steak house and the bill for 5 of us was over 600.00!!!

What is the fastest speed you've ever traveled in a car?

Good lord, I don't remember, but speed scares me so I wouldn't venture any higher than 90!

What is the highest building you've ever been to the top floor of?

The Sears Tower in Chicago. Scared me to death!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Nothing better to do than read...

so because the weather is horrible and the temperature here is ZERO!!! I pretty much did nothing all day. Well, I take that back. I did make lasagna for the family and did 6 loads of laundry. So I guess I was a little productive today. I managed to spend 4 hours online reading the Literary Feline's archives. I love her blog and her style of writing. She keeps me entertained and her book reviews are some of the best that I've read. I wish I could write like her, but sorry folks I can't. So without further ado, here is my short but sweet book review for Book #102 of the year.

Ironside by Holly Black
I thought this book was good. 3 out of 5 stars ***
Geared towards Young Adults, Fantasy
Book 2- You should read Tithe before this one. I had to learn the hard way.

Well, I did like this book better than Tithe but after I finished it I was a little peeved. Why did the faeries switch Kaye out? Who were her parents? And the biggest mystery of all.....what is her real name?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday 9 Meme

Saturday 9: How Do You Sleep

1. How long do you sleep each night? well, normally about 7-9 hours

2. Do you fall asleep easily? yes

3. Do you fall asleep at times not in your bed? almost always I fall asleep first on the couch

4. Do you listen to music or use “white noise” to sleep? no

5. Do you sleep through the night or get up a couple of times? right now I get up a couple of time to check the woodstove and to load it up if needed....gotta keep warm!!

6. Do you have trouble sleeping away from your own bed? sometimes

7. Do you need an alarm clock to get you up? not really but I still set it every night

8. Do you ever take medication to help you sleep? nope

9. Do you/have you slept with pets? my husband hates it but Bruce, my papillion/pom dog sleeps beside me every night.

Snowy Saturday and my LATE Friday Fill-in

So today I talked Matt and Marc into coming to town with me to get groceries!! First though we had to have lunch because everyone knows that going to the grocery store leads to JUNK in the cart and fat on the hips!! We're really trying to cut down on the crap that we just don't need. I've also found that if I make a menu and a list my grocery bill is pretty good. This week I spent 89.00 on groceries and 30.00 on non-essentials: shampoo, softner, paper towels, toothpaste...all of that good stuff. I've decided to keep a weekly log of how much $$$ I spend on groceries. With the economy like it is I want to do my best at spending money wisely. After we loaded up the truck with our goodies we decided to spend about an hour at Barnes and Nobles just reading magazines and browsing. It wasn't like any of the groceries were going to spoil seeing how the temperature is about 19 degrees!!! I hate winter! Everyone was ready to get home after 4 hours in town. It is too crazy for us at times and the roads were getting bad. Now Matt's watching television and Marc is at the neighbor's. I'm updating my blog and then I'm taking a long, hot, warm-vanilla sugar bubble bath!!

Here's my late late late Friday Fill-In


1. Snow _sucks____.

2. I'm looking forward to _summer____.

3. _Starbucks is the best _coffee_ ever!

4. One of my favorite old tv shows is _Little House on the Prairi____.

5. I'm done with __grocery shopping___.

6. The most enjoyable thing around the holidays is _seeing others happy____.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _a hot bath____, tomorrow my plans include _making lasagna____ and Sunday, I want to __relax___!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Booking Through Thursday and stuff

Is the week over yet? I can't wait until Friday, not sure why but I've been so damn tired lately that by 8:30 I'm ready to hang it up! Matt had to go back to work tonight so I don't feel too guilty spending a few hours on the internet with headphones on, listening to Paramore. I want to give a big shout out to my niece LANEY!! Thanks sweetie for making this CD for me! This band is awesome!! So, other than work not much else has been going on here in the Thumb. We were threatened with ice last night but it didn't happen. Heard today that we're "suppose" to get a big storm tomorrow...won't bet my life on it. Every time winter comes to Michigan I feel the need to ask Matt, "Why do we live here?" and then he replies, "Remember, you didn't want to move somewhere warmer until Marc graduates!" So this cold shit is all Marc's fault!! :)

Finished another good book. Number 2 in a series. I've come to realize that I am a fool for series. Love them, especially when I really connect with the characters, then I don't want to see them go away. I've even put off reading a book just so that I didn't have to say goodbye!! Yes, I am seriously deranged! Anywhooo.....this makes book 101 for the year. Yes, I do sometimes cook and clean, remember I said sometimes!!!

This is a pretty good series if you're interested in the paranormal and romance all tied up in a neat little package. Sometimes I just need a fun, sexy read that doesn't require too much brain activity. I really enjoy the characters and most especially the setting- Ireland. A country that I long to visit sometime in my life. I'm going to place a hold for #3.

Now it is time for Booking Through Thursday meme.

5 for Favorites

btt button

1. Do you have a favorite author? I have a lot of favorite authors that I will read no matter what: James Patterson, John Green, Laurie Halse Anderson, Beverly Lewis (I love Amish books), J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen, Diane Gabaldon, ....I need to stop!

2. Have you read everything he or she has written? no, wait I have read all of Laurie Halse Anderson's books and J.K. Rowling's.

3. Did you LIKE everything? Most of the time yes

4. How about a least favorite author? Well, she use to be my favorite- Patricia Cornwell. I have to say that I've been reading pretty good reviews of her newest Scarpetta book so I just may have to read it.

5. An author you wanted to like, but didn’t? Gregory Maguire-hated Wicked, just hated it!! I had to FORCE myself to finish it....yuck!

Stay Warm tonight!! It's going to get down to 19!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Manic Monday and my 100th book review!

It's "Cyber Monday" today, the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday online shopping season in the United States. Do you do much online shopping, holiday or otherwise?
I do a lot of shopping online when I get a good price and free shipping. For my hubby I have to shop online because I just can't find what he wants (for his motorcycle) close to home.

Are you a Mac or a PC user? Why?
PC user only because I'm too poor to afford a cool MAC!!

What website do you spend more time on than you care to admit?
GOODREADS and reading blogs!

I belong to a Bookworm club on a scrapbook site and I just posted my 100th book!! Wow!! Here it is:

Looking For Alaska by John Green
O.K. I think that this must be the best book I've read this year! This one has been on my list for over a year and I finally checked it out to see what all the fuss was about. First off, let me explain about the fuss. The media specialist that I worked with purchased this book for the middle school library. The library lady (at-the-time) was fanning through the book, when the words "blow-job" jumped off the page and slapped her in the face! From there it just spiraled out-of-control and the book was scanned for every "f" word and sexual act that could be found. Needless to say a big book cleaning (banning) took place and a group of closed-minded people were able to remove 60 books from the library. All of these left the shelf without going through any proper consideration. I have the list of books. I've been reading them a few at a time. I've been slowly adding some of them back to the library, but this time they are flagged in the system. A permission slip with information about the book is printed out and signed before a student can check out any "objectionable" book. I have no respect for the media specialist, (he no longer works for the school...yippee). He never fought for any of the books but even more important, he had no idea what he was ordering. I would NOT put this book in the middle school, but it did not stop me from allowing my 13 year-old son to read this before me.
John Green captures what it is like to be young, geeky, unsure of yourself, and to be friendless. He touched a nerve with me that has me thinking about this book a lot deeper than I thought I would. Pudge reminds me of my oldest son in too many ways to count. My youngest son and I have been talking about this book for several days and to me that is what counts!